Forskning ved Københavns Universitet - Københavns Universitet

Hanne Andersen

Hanne Andersen


Medlem af:

  • History and Philosophy of Science and Science Studies

About me

As a historian and philosopher of science at a Faculty of Science I am engaged in making history and philosophy of science relevant to science education and for scientific practice.

I was elected member of the European Academy of Sciences in 2018 and corresponding member of l'Academie Internationale de Philosophie des Sciences in 2019.
As an active member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), Philosophy of Science Association (PSA). European Philosophy of Science Association (EPSA) and Society for Philosophy of Science in Practice (SPSP) I have been elected to several officer position, and I have continously been working for increased collaboration between history, philosophy and sociology of science and practicing scientists.

I form part of the management at UCPH as head of the Department of Science Education. In that capacity, I am also engaged in bringing insights from history, philosophy and sociology of science into research policy and higher education management. I am particularly interested in international comparisons of university governance, in the use and misuse of bibliometrics, and in the structure and development of 21st century science, including interdisciplinarity, collaboration, innovation, and responsible conduct of research.

Finally, as a member of the Danish Committee on Scientific Misconduct and of the Panel of independent experts to facilitate replies to technical questions from the general public on a long-term solution for radioactive waste in Denmark, I work to make philosophical reflection on the practice and role of science relevant within the scientific community as well as to the public at large.

Research profile

My primary research interests are the development of science and scientific change, history and philosophy of interdisciplinary and collaborative practices in the sciences, and responsible conduct of science.

I have been PI of the research project "Philosophy of Contemporary Science in Practice" which was funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities as part of the program for Female Reseach Leaders; co-team leader (together with Team leader Marcel Weber) of Team B: The life sciences in the ESF research network "The Philosophy of Science in a European Persepctive" ; and PI (together with co-PIs Samuel Schindler and Peter Sandøe) of the Danish Research Network for Philosophy of Science (funded by the Danish Research Council for the Humanities from 2011 to 2015). You can join the network’s groups on Facebook.

I have also served as EiC of the journal Centaurus - the official journal of the European History of Science Society.

You can also find me on and LinkedIn, or visit my Google Scholar Profile.

Current research

Upcoming conference and workshop presentations

  • Invited talk at the symposium "Making Scientific Discoveries: Interdisciplinary Reflections", Münster December 5, and roundtable contribution on Interdisciplinarity in Academic Learning at the Symposium "Interdisciplinarity Revisited" at the Humboldt Forum Berlin, October 3-4

Recent presentations

  • The role of interdisciplinarity in 21st century universities, Brazil, August 2018
  • Hvem ved egentlig hvad? Om tillid og ansvar i forskningssamarbejder (Who actually knows what? On trust and responsibility in collaborative research), Vetenskapsrådet, Sweden, September 2018
  • Epistemic responsibility in collaborative research, EURASC, October 2018
  • Creativity and innovation in 21st century science, Creativity across the arts and sciences, Bristol, April 16-17
  • Learning from empirical approaches to HPS, LEAHPS, Hannover July 2019

History and philosophy of interdisciplinarity and expertise

Under this heading I am examining collaborative and interdisciplinary practices of science, how these practices have developed and still are developing, how they affect our understanding of expertise, and which implications they have for science education, science policy and science management today and in the future. The aim is to develop a new account of the structure and development of contemporary science.

My publications on philosophy of interdisciplinarity and expertise include

History and philosophy of scientific malpractice: Negligence, ignorance and distrust

Misconduct and questionable research practices (QRP) are major concerns in contemporary science. Empirical studies show that QRP are widespread, and the steady occurrence of serious misconduct cases reveals that the scientific community still lacks adequate tools for early detection, consistent intervention and, not least, for efficient prevention. To achieve a nuanced understanding of how scientific misconduct and QRP can be detected and corrected as early as possible in the research process, this project combines epistemological analyses of negligence, ignorance, and trust in science with historical case studies and empirical investigations of how scientists perceive negligence and ignorance and on the process during which they become aware of and cope with possible breaches to their trust in collaborators and peers. Results from this endeavour will be used to develop a new kind of training in responsible conduct of research (RCR) that provides scientists in their roles as collaborators, mentors, and peers with adequate tools to detect QRP and to intervene at an early stage.

My publications on philosophy of scientific malpractice include:

  • Andersen, H. (2014): Epistemic dependence in contemporary science: Practices and malpractices, in L. Soler (ed.): Science after the practice turn, Routledge, pp. 161-173
  • Andersen, H. (2014): Co-Author Responsibility, EMBO reports  15: 914-918

Making better scientists: Scientific proficiency through philosophical literacy

The role of history and philosophy of science in science education has been an important topic in science education over the last half century. However, most analyses of philosophy, history and sociology of science and science teaching have focused on how history and philosophy of science can be brought into science education at the K-12 level and in teacher education with the aim of improving the scientific literacy of the general public. In contrast, there have been only few analyses of the possible roles of history and philosophy of science in higher education in the sciences. In this line of work, I am arguing that history and philosophy of science also have important roles to play in higher education. Scientists are continuously required to reflect on scientific knowledge creation as well as on the societal contexts in which scientific knowledge is put to use, and philosophical-analytical skills acquired through the display of historical and contemporary exemplars can therefore improve scientists’ proficiency in identifying and solving the various kinds of epistemological and ethical problems that they encounter qua scientists. In this way, not only can scientific proficiency be seen as a complement to the scientific literacy aimed for in general science education, scientific proficiency also requires that professional scientists acquire a certain philosophical literacy.

Teaching profile

I have taught philosophy of science to students in chemistry, biochemistry, medicinal chemistry nanoscience, human biology, public health, medicine and dentistry.

I supervise projects and theses on interdisciplinarity, collaboration in science, responsible conduct of research, scientific change, scientific controversies, 

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